I like my coffee like I like my Astros …
Weak, tepid, and accompanying all those donuts (on the scoreboard).
Yep, it’s been that kind of week or so.
Right now I’m hoping we don’t get the 1-1 pick next summer mainly because I’m afraid to watch how it will blow up in our faces. “Captain” Carlos Correa is on crutches, and despite what Luhnow says, I’m sure this will delay his promotion to Houston by a half season or more. Plus, if it limits his range, we now have a great third-base prospect. Le sigh!
More on the 1-1 front: Mark Appel either REALLY misses his appendix or REALLY hates pitching every fifth day. Either way, his 2014 is making everyone wonder how this guy got to the top of the draft board two years in a row. (A little sugar in this cup of coffee: He’s allowed just 3 ER in each of his last three 5-inning starts. So, there’s that.)
Brady Aiken won’t be atop anyone’s draft board in 2015. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s because he’ll either be signed at a bargain ($5 million) price or go to college and not be eligible in 2015.
At least these injuries aren’t affecting our major league club. Jason Castro‘s ready to get behind the plate … Wait, what? Alex Presley might be looking at the DL. He’ll be joining “Aluminium Man” Dexter Fowler. I won’t even get into our bullpen, which could be great if our closer could find the mound (Jesse Crain) and our set-up man got back from the DL (Matt Albers).
Speaking of pitchers, how is Collin McHugh‘s middle finger?
All these injuries and Chris Carter can’t get a hangnail? Now that’s just bad luck.
So, is there any good news out of AstroWorld? (I know, that one hurt you Houstonians.)
Well, Domingo Santana did a spit-take with his cup of coffee, but apparently Kike Hernandez is enjoying a fine Frappuccino. The kid is hitting .364 after a week in The Show. Unsustainable? Sure. But right now I’m loving me some Kike.
Jose Altuve was selected for the AL All-Star team, and this was a deserving pick. He’s on pace for more than 220 hits and somewhere north of 60 stolen bases. Oh, and if all that happens he’ll be in the running for the AL batting title.
Dallas Keuchel is on the vote-in ballot for the final spot. He won’t make it, but there is a chance (“Dumb and Dumber” anyone) the Astros have two All-Stars. Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.
But after a week of losses (swept by Seattle and the L.A. Suburb), it’s nice to have some good news.
So, with my coffee cup half full (as opposed to half empty), here are a few easy trivia questions that should make you feel better about the Astros after a hard week.
1. How many straight games have the Astros won over the Rangers?
2. Who is leading Houston in Wins?
3. Who are Houston’s three best outfielders based on batting average? Based on OPS?
4. Among all players, who leads Houston in Slugging Percentage?
5. Who leads the Astros in striking out?
6. Do any Astros have more extra-base hits than strikeouts?
7. Do Houston’s starters have a combined ERA above or below 4.00?
8. Do Houston’s relievers have a combined ERA above or below 5.50?
9. Have the Astros used more or less than 25 pitchers this season?
10. Have the Astros used more or less than 20 position players this season?
Now some ponderings as you drink your morning cup of coffee (or tea if you’re British):
* Are the Astros snake bit by injuries, or has this just been a bad week (month)?
* Will our 1-1 mess sort itself out in the end? Will Correa rebound next year? Will Appel find the lower half of the strike zone? Will Aiken get signed and, even if he needs Tommy John surgery, come back in late 2015 ready to rehab?
* What is your Astros silver lining? Or keeping with the coffee theme, what flavor of cream is sweetening your Astros cup? Or do you just taste bitter grounds?
* For those of you who can’t watch the games, do you even care after this week?